Preventing genital warts

Written by Maya Expert Team

Using condoms can help protect against the virus that causes genital warts. A vaccine is also available.


Using condoms every time you have vaginal or anal sex is the most effective way to avoid getting genital warts, other than being celibate (not having sex). Condoms also helps protect you from other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. However, the protection offered by condoms is not 100%. Genital warts are the result of a viral skin infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Because HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact, it is possible for the skin around your genital area not covered by the condom to become infected.

But condoms remain the safest option. If you have oral sex, cover the penis with a condom. Avoid sharing sex toys. However, if you do share them, wash them or cover them with a new condom before anyone else uses them.

Following these measures will also help protect you from getting a number of other STIs, such as HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

In recent years in Bangladesh, the vaccine Gardasil is being used and can help protect against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause around 90% of genital warts.

It also protects against types 16 and 18, which are linked to more than 70% of cases of cervical cancer.

Before, a different vaccine called Cervarix was used to protect against HPV types 16 and 18. It is still in use.

However, HPV vaccines cannot protect against all types of HPV. If you are a woman and have received HPV vaccinations, you should still attendcervical screening (smear tests) as the vaccines do not guarantee that you will not develop cervical cancer in the future.

HPV vaccines are designed to try to help protect you from developing certain types of HPV infection. They are likely to be of most benefit before you have had sexual contact. It is not clear if there would be any benefit in receiving HPV vaccination if you:

are a man

have already had sex

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Maya Expert Team